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paradoxGentleman
Dec 10, 2013

wheres the jester, I could do with some pointless nonsense right about now



Shankar "Shan" Estrada, the Infernal


Look, buddy, I'm not going to lie to your face and tell you that we "had it good" in Winford before the start-up came around. Winford isn't really the sort of place where people "have it good". You're lucky if you have it slightly less bad then your neighbor. But things had reached an equilibrium of sorts. Which suited me, if not my boss, just fine.
Still, it's not impossible to deal with his type if you can figure out how they think. Let me walk you through it.

As far as the Baron is concerned, what he did for me, between the powers and keeping Baba's shop afloat, that was an investment. He's a stingy cheapskate through and through and he will go on a tirade on how there's no such thing as a free meal in this world or the next, which means I've gotta pony up some dividends. The investment has to be repaid, in full, with interest, within a reasonable timeframe given the circumstances I find myself in.

Catch that? That last part's important. Because if, say, I'm in a dying town where business is dying and people who can are leaving, and people who can't are desperately holding onto what they can't, I can chip away at my debt bit by bit, so long as I keep sending off to the Baron the occasional truly desperate person, willing to give him what he wants.
What does the Baron want? He's a deeply materialistic creature, but he doesn't take hard cash. His favorite thing in the whole world seem to be items that people have a lot of personal attachment to. A love letter from their first love, the rugby trophy they won in their glory days... stuff like that. And sometimes he has "special requests" for me that, if they have a common thread between them, I haven't been able to find.

Of course, people tend to be pretty attached to things like "their car" or "their house", so this rear end in a top hat got pretty stinking rich pursuing his hobby.

In any case, I had him pretty much convinced that the best we could shoot for was wait for people to get desperate and sell off their precious belongings and syphon them off ourselves, when in walks Howards loving Philips, all ties and cologne, to blow the winds of change in Winford and rile the Baron up something fierce. He's been clacking his jaw nonstop about opportunities and keeping up with the modern world and how sharks who don't swim end up dead.

And here's the thing. I'm probably going to have to take the hint.

Because that "investment" thing? If it turns out that I'm not repaying him in a timely manner "given the circumstances I find myself in", then I'm the one defaulting him on his investment.

And, very important keep in mind for this, you do not want to default the Baron on his investment. Even if it means leading people to ruin, instead of just picking up the pieces after they ruin themselves.

quote:

Name: Shankar "Shan" Estrada, the Infernal
Look: Venomous, empty eyes
Origin: Lackey

Stats

Hot: 1
Cold: -1
Volatile: -1
Dark: 2

Harm: 0/4

Experience: 0/5

Moves:

Soul Debt

You owe a debt to a Dark Power. Name it, and choose two Bargains it has made with you. The Dark Power can gain Strings. If ever it has 5 Strings on you, trigger your Darkest Self.

Dark Recruiter
When you bring an innocent soul to the Dark Power, mark experience.

Bargains:

The Power Flows Through You
You can give the Dark Power a String in order to add 2 to your next roll.

Elsewise Power

You can give the Dark Power a String to use a move you don’t have, just this once. This move can come from any Skin.

Backstory

You owe debts. Give away 3 Strings, divided any way you like between the Dark Power and the other characters.

Someone thinks they can save you. Gain a String on them.

Darkest Self
You find yourself shivering, needy, and alone. The Dark Power will make some daunting, open-ended demands. Every demand fulfilled brings you closer to feeling whole again, and removes one of the Dark Power’s Strings on you. You escape your Darkest Self when the Dark Power is out of Strings, or you make a bargain with an even more dangerous entity.

paradoxGentleman fucked around with this message at 05:51 on Oct 14, 2021

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paradoxGentleman
Dec 10, 2013

wheres the jester, I could do with some pointless nonsense right about now



quote:

What's the oddest thing the Baron has asked you to steal?
Heh. The Baron'd freak out if he heard you say that. He doesn't ask me to 'steal', he asks me to 'acquire'. He doesn't care how I get stuff, so long as I do get it. And he doesn't ask questions. But apparently it's important to him that he never told me to steal anything.

To answer your question... apparently he needed a child's baby tooth. Creepy, right? Let me tell you, I felt plenty creepy finding out who, in my class, had a little sibling young enough to still be losing baby teeth, figuring out where their mom kept them and snatching one when I dropped by for some homework after I pretended to be sick.
Plen-ty creepy. [clicks tongue, stares off into space] Yeah.

The lucky winner, in case you're curious, was Tabitha Barnes. Age eleven. Her brother's Liam is kind of a nobody who spends most of his lunches alone, and nobody would even remember his name if not for rumors that he's seeing a shrink. Just a matter of time until people start wondering what for... and there I am dropping by his house. Ah well. Needs must.

quote:


What happened to the last person you sent onto the Baron? Do you feel guilty?

That... was Christian Barragan. Owner of Barragan Corner Store. Nice guy. Nice bodega. Has a fat cat hanging out there.

He's in the Baron's debt now. Same as me.

I've learned to not think about it too much. To focus on the positive side. It was either this, or bankruptcy for him. Business wasn't great, and the poor guy was barely keeping his head above water.

...I'm not welcome in the corner store anymore.

quote:

Where do you go when you want to be alone for a while?

There's a bridge that overlooks the road that crosses through town. I like sitting there, look over it, watch the occasional car leave Winford and go beyond. Sometimes I allow myself to imagine doing the same, after I've balanced my books.

Heh.

paradoxGentleman
Dec 10, 2013

wheres the jester, I could do with some pointless nonsense right about now




[] [] [] []
[] [Serina] [] []
[] [] [Shankar] []
[] [] [] []

Shankar's right in the middle of things.

paradoxGentleman
Dec 10, 2013

wheres the jester, I could do with some pointless nonsense right about now



Backstory

quote:

You owe debts. Give away 3 Strings, divided any way you like between the Dark Power and the other characters.
2 to the Baron, 1 to Serina.
I've been chipping away at my debt to the big guy, but it's been a long and tough road, let me tell you. And not without bumps.

It's almost like the system is rigged or something. Heh.

So the Baron tells me this huge, ornate bronze lamp is on sale, right? Groundskeeper Rico was selling it online, presumably with the help of his grandson.And he wants it. Okay then, I tell him, I'll get it for you boss. Big mistake.

I made an honest effort at bidding for it, you know? But no way I was going to match the sort of money that was being thrown around. And as for stealing it? Old man was watching that thing like an hawk, even called in sick at work to make sure no one would get a crack at it while he was out.

(Did someone warn him? Hmm. Something to think about.)

The Baron was on my rear end the whole time about it, and the anxiety was eating me alive. The gently caress was I supposed to do? I could only watch the bidding war rise higher and higher as the opportunity slipped through my fingers. I was going to pay for that later, I knew that for sure.

And then someone with a brand spanking new account outbids everyone else by five hundred bucks, gets the lamp, and the very next night Serina hands it over to me right as I was about to report my failure to the Baron, lording it over me, all smiles and self-satisfaction and assurances that it was nothing, really.

Can you imagine having that kind of cash to throw around? Good God but do I hate rich people.

quote:

Someone thinks they can save you. Gain a String on them.
Luke, come on, man. We kissed once, while both tipsy at a party. There's no need to come around asking me if I'm okay and poo poo. You're making a fool of yourself, people are going to think you're dying for some action or something.

Don't get me wrong, it's flattering that you liked it so much, but it's not really necessary, okay? It's fine. I'm fine. Leave me alone, you've got your own poo poo to deal with, I'm sure.

Answers


quote:

How did you get Lewis Green into trouble? Was it deliberate?

Lewis can say whatever he wants, what happened to him was his fault and his fault alone.

It was him who asked to come along when I was dealing with the gangsters that hang around the tattoo parlor at the edge of town ("gangsters" is the term he used; Winford is too small to sustain a real gang, they're wannabes and riffraff, but enough to impress a white-collar dyed-in-the-wool boy like), it was him who kept interjecting and trying to pose like them until they got pissed, it was him that got caught when we made a run for it, and it was him who got busted by his parents with a bloody nose and a bloody hoodie.

What, did he expect I was going to fight like four people for him? gently caress off.

quote:

Lilly Ward did something nice for you. What was it and do you still feel you owe her for it?

With all this running around dealing with the Baron and Prometheus and the rest of the class' drama that I inevitably get caught on, it's been hard keeping up with school. Lilly noticed I was slipping lately and volunteered to tutor me. Free of charge.

I mean, she said "study together" but let's be real, she's like the second or third best student in class, she doesn't need help from my ignorant rear end.

Do I feel like I owe her? Well... she volunteered, I hardly asked for her help, and... oh who am I kidding, yes I owe her. I'll see what I can do.

quote:

Why do you think the Baron warned you to stay away from Mike Woodward?

It's very interesting that he did that! Usually he's all for me trying to befriend people. He figures that's more targets I can eventually deliver into his bony arms.

But not Mike. Not ol' Woodward. Not Mr. Cinnamon Bun, as some of the girls call him.

Fun fact: this one time I was trying to get a bead on a target's taste with the weird powers that the Baron gave me, and then Mikey passed by me on his bike, and my power went completely awire. It was like someone was playing a violin with a saw inside my skull. It sucked at the time, but still...

Isn't it interesting, that this happens only with dear old Mike? Very very interesting.

paradoxGentleman fucked around with this message at 15:01 on Oct 16, 2021

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